Latin America, Caribbean Quick Takes: New Brazilian Water Park to Open in March 2021; Face Masks Go Wild at Colombian Animal Sanctuary
New Brazilian Water Park Scheduled to Open in March 2021
Not even a global pandemic could stop Brazilian entrepreneur Mario Celso Lopes from finishing one of his biggest projects yet: Acqualinda. The future water park and resort in Andradina, Brazil, about 390 miles from the metropolitan area of São Paulo, is set to open its doors in March 2021.
“The pandemic has certainly slowed construction for us, but we haven’t stopped,” says Lopes of the $97 million investment—one of the largest private enterprises in the state of São Paulo. Acqualinda will feature a 150-foot-tall volcano, a water roller coaster measuring 1,246 feet long, a wave pool large enough to fit four Olympic-size pools inside of it, and other attractions. “Acqualinda will be a game changer for Andradina and will place our city on the map for tourists from all over the world to come visit,” he says.
While Lopes believes international travel may take some time to get back to normal, he says Brazilians should have something to look forward to when they can start traveling again. “We believe domestic tourism is going to be a huge boom once this pandemic is over. I want to bring happiness to the people of Andradina and boost its economy,” says Lopes. Once the project is completed, the theme park is expected to generate 3,000 jobs.
Face Masks Go Wild at Colombian Animal Sanctuary
Bioparque Ukumarí in Pereira, Colombia, found a way to ensure guests get excited to return after a temporary closure. Since first opening its doors in 2015, the animal sanctuary has welcomed thousands of enthusiastic animal lovers each year, but that came to a halt in March when the park temporarily closed as a precaution for COVID-19.
While new safety measures were developed, Bioparque Ukumarí Manager Sandra Milena Correa says the park also had to find a way to reinvent itself by maintaining the same level of care for all animals, while surviving as a local attraction.
The park quickly launched two promotions. First, an annual membership offered guests a ticket where they pay for one visit and then could return all year upon reopening. The second promotion drove visitors to the sanctuary’s virtual store. Guests who missed the interaction with Bioparque Ukumarí’s animals could purchase face masks depicting their favorite animals. Correa says Bioparque Ukumarí’s online presence made a difference when staying connected with fans and sharing updates on its animals.